“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
SelfControl is a free Mac application to help you avoid distracting websites.
PSA: This is literally the only way I get anything done.
Three months ago, when the frozen grass stood as stiff as a spine,
I invited you meekly to the art museum to listen to slam poets ooze from the abysses of their blackened insides onto the marble.
But after watching sixteen souls scream open their scars,
we sneaked out a back corridor and into the halls,
pretending to shop on the farthest wing of the museum for furnishings from the artifacts.
I looked at you seriously and snickered that the sarcophagus could hardly fit two,
and you retorted that an entire exhibit of kettles would not possibly boil the amount of tea leaves you planned to consume.
While searching for pieces for our mantles, I discovered a statuette of The Shiva Nataraja and planted my Mary Jane roots into the tile,
reciting that Shiva leaped inside a fire manifestation of the universe, performing the tandava dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and dissolved.
And, as I recounted the paragraph from my art history textbook, I stared the god in the eyes and mouthed, “I would not mind to be dissolved if holding you.”
Yet, it could never be uttered aloud.
Though I tried to rearrange our twenty six letters into something beautiful and comprehensive,
I realized that I am sunken as the slam poets bleeding verses onto patrons,
because no matter how long I try to thread my thoughts into sentences, my brain waves will always travel in metaphors, as scattered and abstract as the paintings we refused to understand.